Having trained us in the art of fruit chopping on our phones, masterly slice-em-up Fruit Ninja is now ready to enlighten Kinect owners.
Not that the lesson has changed. The goal is still to slice fruit hurled upwards from the bottom of the screen in one of three single-player modes: classic, arcade and zen. In classic mode, players must chop fruit before it falls off the screen and avoid slicing passing bombs. Arcade mode is a race against time to rack up points with frantic chopping while zen mode is a stress-free minute and a half of fruit splitting. It’s a dead simple formula, but one enlivened by the thrills of achieving combos by slicing whole shopping baskets’ worth of fruit with a single swish of your invisible blade.
While the basics are unchanged, the pleasingly tactile finger flicking of the touchscreen versions is, of course, gone. In its place is the ability to slice fruit by karate chopping the air like a real ninja and ruddy marvellous it is too, with spot-on tracking of your actions and an on-screen shadow of yourself for striking Karate Kid poses.
The joy of Kinect as a control method for Fruit Ninja is rammed home when you encounter pomegranates, which whisk you into a urgent mini-game where you have mere seconds to deliver as many chops as possible to the superfruit for bonus points.
Unfortunately the two-player modes don’t match the rest of the package, both of which feel restrictive due to the risk of whacking the person you’re playing with. The player-versus-player mode also struggles because players lose points for chopping their rivals’ fruit, meaning the competitiveness never really takes off.
Multiplayer disappointments aside, Fruit Ninja Kinect is as fun as the smartphone original and at times better. If not as portable.